Skip to main content

About this Show

U.S. Senate





San Francisco, CA, USA

Comcast Cable

Channel 91 (627 MHz)






America 18, Us 17, Cyberspace 16, United States 12, Biden 9, Washington 9, Dodd 7, U.s. 6, New York 5, Leon Panetta 5, Bob Casey 5, Panetta 4, Bruce 4, Ryan 4, New York City 4, Chris Dodd 3, China 3, Pennsylvania 3, Joe Biden 3, Romney 3,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    October 12, 2012
    5:00 - 7:00pm EDT  

parts to pick up workers in substantial numbers. they bus them to those jobs and a bus home at the end of the day. when the economy is much less strong as is the case today, they don't do that. they have no need to do that. there is nothing more potent as a driver of education for those with less skill than a taught labor market and the need to hire. i would suggest to you that those who assert that slow growth and stimulus and what happens in the short run is the short run issue, what is most important is the concept of long
run fundamentalss this the crucial point -- miss the crucial point. we are by allowing the economy remains stagnant committing grievous structural sins. we are squandering human capital as people withdraw from the labour force. we are missing opportunities for employment and training for workers in their most formative years. we are running an active set of measures that discourage investment in finding the most disadvantaged workers and we are providing limitations on the incentive to invests in research and development as a product of tomorrow. how then to think about our current situation and the strategy for moving forward?
it is i think right to say that in a sense we have moved past the great recession. the economy was, as i said at the time, like a ball falling off the table, rolling off the table in january of 2009. look at almost any economic indicator. collapsing more rapidly after jan. -- after the fall of 2008 and early 2009 and after the fall of 1929. as serious as one we have been through is, it is nothing like the great depression. the economy stopped. the economy did start to climb. it has been climbing. but to say we are working our
way out of the great recession is not to deny that we continue to be at risk of a lost decade of great stagnation. and it is to addressing the challenge of the great stagnation that we must dedicate ourselves this election turns out. i would suggest five central elements in an economic strategy for spurring growth, raising demand and moving the economy forward. first, we are desperately short on public investment in this country. no one who has flown through
kennedy airport can be proud of the gateway to the greatest city in the greatest nation on earth. few if any have the experience of flying out of kennedy airport to a foreign destination and encountering an airport that they regard less favorably than they regard kennedy airport. quoting the use of the 1916s and i suppose i was one, saying if not now, when? if not now, when the interest rate in the currency we print is 2.4% for 30 years. if not now, when the construction unemployment rate approaches 15%. if this is not the time to rebuild kennedy airport, when
is? kennedy airport is no isolated example. a study in nevada found that it cost five times as much if you maintain roads too late, if you maintain them on time. we have roads across this country filled with hot coals -- hobbles --potholes for. every time i went to a city i would take a couple hours and go to the public school and talk about the importance of education. probably pretty cliche that and more cliche over the subsequent 12 years. i will never forget one of the time the young teacher took me
aside and said that was a great speech. it really was a great speech. how can you expect kids to believe that when the paint is falling off walls of the classroom? when i said education is really important and it has been a year since they put ventilation in the chemistry lab and kids get sick every time they go, and that is the only way to get into the cafeteria. if not now, when to rebuild our infrastructure? some say how are we going to pay for that? it is a fair question. here are some answers. first answer is it is not like we're never going to rebuild the health care system and not that it is going to be cheaper when the interest rate is 6%. it is not going to be cheaper when the construction unemployment rate is 6% rather
than 15%. i promise you. here is another answer. make an investment, doesn't have to be a great investment to have our rate of return of 8%. government taxes, about 1/4 of extra income, to get 8% more each year. government taxes of quarter of it at 2% in real terms, that is pretty high relative to the real interest rate that is actually negative. contribution to gdp, saving from doing when it is the efficient captures a substantial -- captures a substantial part of the cost of necessary public investment. and yes, as the economy starts to grow, as the economy gets out
of this phase, it will be necessary to find direct revenue means whether it is taxes or fees on the beneficiary or infrastructure to cover the costs. that need not be the priority right now when the economy is so deficient. let's do it right. we don't know what the economy at is going to be the next ten years, but we do now that we are going to be desperately short on public infrastructure for a decade. let's plan a long-term investment program and financing of that program varies with cyclical conditions as those cyclical conditions evolve. second, let's support employers
in hiring workers and employees in taking jobs. this is not the right moment to repeal the payroll tax cut. $120 billion put in the hands of middle income families is $120 billion injected into the economy. it is $120 billion that enables strapped families to spend money on what they need. and provide employers, providing incentives certainly for small-businesses and perhaps beyond, not for every worker they hire because that will be paying for a great deal of normal insurance that takes place but when they choose to grow their work force, mets makes or for the first year the new employers are on the payroll, we are giving employers
a hand in meeting those costs. while we are supporting employment incentives, let's begin the long process of making sure we have a system in the united states, a labor intensive system that could employ a large number of dedicated professionals that can support people, support our young people who are not succeeding right now in making that transition from school to work, whether that be from college or high school. third, let's have an energy debate that is the find not by war but by and. there is scope for us to do more
with renewals. yes, there is scope for us to do things with fossil fuels that are environmentally better and better in terms of national security because they don't involve dependence on foreign suppliers, of a kind that would have been unimaginable five years ago. and yes, there are still -- there is still substantial scope for increased energy efficiency and energy in efficiency is no less worth pursuing because we have found more natural gas. let's stop debating what the relative priority to attached to these measures are, and let's have our failures in the energy arianna after 50 years of
talking, having to do too much rather than tried to do too little. as production comes, increasingly, energy is becoming a more important share of total costs and labour becoming a less important share of total cost and that means what we do in energy has the capacity to have a substantial impact on the competitiveness of a much larger set of american firms involved in manufacturing than would previously have been imaginable. infrastructure, support for employment, support for our
energy resources, be dedicated commitment and expanded commitment to increase our country's exports. some of the things i am proud to have been part of, turning the administration, it is something that has borne more fruit and is often realized. president obama's commitment to double our level of exports over the next five years. it is right to be concerned about america's trade deficit. but it is much healthier for america's economy, much better for the real purchasing power of american consumers, much better for having businesses engage in the business of the future rather than the business of the past, for us to move more
balanced trade by increasing exports rather than reducing imports. some of that has to do with the negotiation and enforcement of trade agreements. more of it has to do with choices that we make. especially choices that we make in sectors that one doesn't always think of. there is fast scope, increased tourism in to the united states. if you think about it, tourism is a sector that provides vast opportunities and jobs with those with relatively little skill. not so long ago i had the opportunity to spend some time talking to the ceo of a major hotel chain who noted that of
his senior management team, have had not gone to college and many had started working behind the desk in a hotel. our tourism industry which we don't think of as an industry that develops when we are more competitive. similarly close to my heart given where i spent my life, there is no question that we are the most competitive country in the world in higher education. if we build on that, in part through encouraging our institutions to grow and expand and add that more students and in part by changing a set of national policies that are shortsighted and counterproductive, limiting access to students who wish to take advantage of the education the system provides, we can increase significantly our volume of investments. that along with the more
conventional set of measures can project united states more fully and create jobs. finally, something that cuts across a growth agenda and fairness agenda is tax reform. our tax reform cannot be given an explanation in terms of what social scientists call a rational actor. it can only be explained our geologically -- park geologicallya --rchaeologically
as particular moment for particular reasons. it distorts the allocation of resources for the debt and away from equities. it distorts the allocation of resources towards financial activity and away from productive activity. it distorts towards the consumption of the palace of the affluent and away from the investment of many. it distorts the allocation of resources for the activities that are complementary with locating income in tax havens and away from activities that are complementary with locating jobs near american workers.
it does follow that by raising less revenue as a country right now than we have raised in nearly 8 years. at a time when an aging population inherently increasing costs in sectors like health and education and rising debt make it almost inevitable that we are going more in the public sector and not less. reform of the tax code, promotion of exports, full harnessing of our energy capacity, support for employers who grow their employment on a substantial scale and the level
of demand, public investment of a nation, these are five big steps that can move this economy forward rapidly. make no mistake, all the concerns that i expressed, all the fear is that i described with a great stagnation, two things are true in my view. traveling in 20 months in the administration. i would rather face the challenges in the area that the united states faces than the challenges faced by any other nation in the world.
and this. what we have seen in the last five years is the power of what the economists once called cumulative causation. that regular people call vicious cycle and other people use for avalanchees to describe more selling and more selling, processes where a weakened financial system means a weakened economy and weakened financial system. those processes that can engage to cause implosions can also engage to cause explosions and rapid growth. that is why we are prepared to act boldly in the name of
growth, a whole program can be much greater than the sum of the parts. all these forces of cumulative causation can engage and slow the economy hand engage to speed the economy up. things take longer than you thought they would, they happen faster than you thought they could. let us hope that is the case with respect to the u.s. economic expansion. thank you very much. >> over here. >> let's start with a few questions and then turn to the
audience. always identify yourself. i take it that you are not a believer in the confidence theory. a statement of the view that -- >> i think confidence does matter but that statement needs to be qualified by at least two comments. a little hard to understand how confidence matters. sometimes i feel very confident -- sometimes i feel i am not going to hit a good shot. more likely to hit a good shot. conference is causing me to hit
a good shot or because i feel confident because i have positioned myself right and that is when i feel confident. people are confident before they invest, why else would they invest if they are not confident? that doesn't prove confidence is some separate variable. second, it is remarkable how much more people talk about confidence in public policy when they are in washington than anyplace else. you walk into a restaurant, are you going to hire more waiters? thinking about expanding, more customers if you spruce up. i don't hear many people say it depends what they do in washington about the fiscal cliff.
we can destroy confidence. we can do a lot of damage. we can do what we do with respect to the fiscal cliff, we can do it with respect to misguided relative policies when regulation is misguided. it is very important to back off. but the idea that somehow announcing that something is going to be different about social security and medicare 20 years from now is going to suddenly spurt people into the renaissance of investment is unlikely. i do not want to be heard as minimizing the importance of going after the fiscal issues. if we fail to do it we can make things much worse. but to suppose that that can constitute the main part of a
growth strategy at a time when interest rates are already so low and the world economy is slow, attenuating the scope of export impact is questionable. >> to clarify something else, you are arguing about the need for additional policy to permit growth. if your argument, you describe the economy as needing more growth, new data points on unemployment and issues about breakups in the housing market, is your argument that while the picture is unclear, we should continue a growth strategy because growth strategy around growth, a number of goods, or
are you more dire about the economy or a particular thing now? people may be looking to you to see how the economy is likely to go. >> i would be a much wealthier man if i was able to make those predictions with high accuracy. i think it is fair to say that the economy's potential to grow in normal times is in the 2% range. it is fair to say the economy is now 5% or more short of its potential. one might aspire to see the economy grow at 2-1/4% plus
enough growth to close the 5% gap over a several year period. i don't think there is any serious argument that the likely forecast over the next couple years on current policy even without the fiscal cliff error is to grow sufficiently rapidly to achieve that objective. the debate is on which side of the 2-1/4 without closing the gap, the economy is likely to come down on. two months ago, one would have said that the risks were to the lower side of 2-1/4. over the last six weeks numbers have been more encouraging. you might say the risks are symmetric on both sides of lee 2-1/4 but economic statistics
are like political polls. usually a good idea to figure out what you thought some time ago and take the average because otherwise you are overly influenced by the latest data. i agree with you. >> questions in a minute but i wanted to ask -- i wanted to bring this down to what is happening in the political cycle. tax policy has been an area with litigation in the national discussion and the president's proposals and mitt romney's. there has been a fair amount of discussion or lack of clarity about governor romney's tax proposal and i wonder if you have any thoughts or incites
about how to achieve his goals in tax policy for what you think the outcomes of the tax proposal might be? >> i had a suspicion that might come up. what magic asterisks were late 20th century loopholes to the early 20 first century in terms of budgetary requirements. thinking back i was thinking back on it, i attended a brookings symposium in the summer of 1980 on a candidate's budget plan. this is the ninth cycle where i have watched the budget plan between two parties. there has not been a cycle when the challenger did not make it
look easier than it was. there has not been a challenger who did not do one who did not have some experience like john kennedy who famously remarked when he became president oh my god, it is as bad as i said it was. and so there is always room. ..
>> if you do the tax cut, which a commitment was made in at least one stage, that tax cut's a 20% across the board plus the estate tax, is $5 trillion. $5 trillion. there's no question, you can't argue about it, that if you look at all of the deductions and all the exemptions, assuming you got rid of every penny of the chapterble deduction and the standard deduction for people with incomes over $250,000, there's much less than $5 trillion there. you're talking about giving a tax cut to people over $250,000, even if you take away every
single deduction and loophole. it's very hard to understand how you can talk about doing that and not giving any tax to wealthy people. if you are going to pay for your $5 trillion tax cut, since you can't pay for your $5 trillion tax cut by taking it from people with income above $250,000, it follows -- it follows that you have to take it from people with incomes under $250,000 who, in the political process, we have come to call the middle class and the upper middle class. that is elementary math. now, it is suggested that that's just one study by the tax policy center, and that there are somehow six contrary studies.
let me just remark on that. two of the contrary studies are -- i'm sure i'm a little fussy about what constitutes a study being an academic economist and all of that, but it seems to me, ad mooest -- a modest abuse of language to refer to a "wall street journal" editorial as a study. [laughter] much less two "wall street journal" editorials as two studies. perhaps the more thorough of the two studies was that of my harvard colleague martin feldstein who was extraordinary transparent about the analysis that he did which did establish an important point which is that if you defined high income as meaning income over $100,000, and you were prepared to eliminate every deduction, you
could do it. well, a corollary of that is if he could have found a way to have that statement be true with $200,000, don't you think he would have dope -- done it? that study properly interpreted, actually demonstrates the point by demonstrating that you need an increase over $100,000 that's three of the studies. them there's the studies that say i don't know the details of the plan, but it might be poll to have a plan that creates growth, and if it did, we might not need that much more revenue. well, that's true, but it doesn't speak to the issue, and one could go -- one could go on so it's easy to say that, you
know, my plan, is to eat ice cream sundays and chocolate cake and hamburgers as much as i want. my plan is to lose 60 pounds and the plan is to avoid painful exercise, and those were my objectives, and i'm committed to every one of them. you can do that, but it doesn't -- you don't know where you'll go if you have all three of those objectives, but i think what's important to recognize is
that, and i think what the nature of political discourse tends to lead one not to see, is that we're sort of in up -- fairly uncharted territory of being wrong. you know, everybody's always about every's math, and every's not entirely wrong about the indignant of the math. this is the first time you've reached a plan -- people said, i'll cut spending. then you say you don't say what spending you would cut. there's not that much spending that's easy to cut. nobody's said i'm going to finance something by cutting spending and have somebody else say even if you eliminated all the spending if that sphere, all of it, even if you zeroed it out, there's not enough money to pay for what you are doing. that's the situation we're in here. i think we're really in quite
unchild supported and troubling territory. >> great. i think we'd like to have questions, and if you can identify yourself, that would be great. >> charlie clark. after the recovery act passed in 2009, there was white house messages that we would have a recovery summer and up employment would come down below 8%. can you comment on why that message went out and what -- how plausible was it -- did it seem at the time? >> i think if you -- i think if, you know, i'm not going to go back and do inside baseball and ticktock. i think if you looked at the administration's forecasts, for the most part, they tracked what were consensus economic
forecasts of the major -- of the major macroeconomic forecasters. i think there was a regime [audience boos] -- a general unwillingness, sort of a first part of the talk, persists until today, to recognize the very different character of a downturn associated with the aftermath of a crisis associated with a more conventional business cycle, and that was certainly a concern that i was aware of at the time. i think the judgment that one should tend to anchor an administration's forecast somewhere near what the
consensus, broad economics community was, was probably not an -- not an unreasonable judgment. i also think that if you look, in some ways, the disappointing period relative to expectations has been more as the effects of the recovery act have worn off than during the period when the recovery act was substantially in place, and certainly -- i mean, it wasn't my primary responsibility to think about the likely judgments of the congress over time, but certainly i would have expected that the economy -- that the congress would have been more
prepared to take action to main tape demand if it was necessary than the congress, in fact, proved to be. >> in that row, dana -- oh, sorry, go ahead. >> lauren mcgovern with "the washington post". hi, larry. i know you want to get beyond the fiscal cliff, and many of us would like to get beyond the fiscal cliff. >> somehow i have a feeling we're not getting beyond the fiscal cliff with your question. [laughter] >> my question is about the payroll tax holiday. you said it's the wrong time to end it, it's important to get the debt under control, but i'm trying to understand how important it is to get it under control now. i mean, if we punt on the payroll tax, do we have to be paying for it? worry about the bond individual --
vigilantes? how do you address that issue? >> i think i was clear in saying that it would be advantageous from the point of view of reducing risk to put in place today a program that would cause the debt path and income path not to be divergent causing one to be able to look ahead and see a stable debt to income ratio. that does not require changing the level of debt tea. indeed, to the extent that one's spurred growth today and put in place measures that paid for it subsequently, the result on both sides would actually be because of the rising incomes today and the reduced deficits in the future, would be to serve the
objective of reducing the debt to income ratioings. even if it was -- even if there was no explicit pay for today, the extra income growth that would -- the extra income growth that would result and the extra income growth that would result as long as mores were taken at some point to stabilize the debt to gdp ratio would be helpful. it's important to understand that the discussion at this point about what the magnitude and nature of the fiscal risks is, if you'll indulge me more a
moment, there's an analytic point not understood. why do we have stagnation? why are we in a demand short economy? the reason is because today, and we're not usually, is that usually the private sector wants to spend more than its income. the private sector is a net borrowing driving the economy forward, and when private sector borrowing collides with federal borrowing, and there's only so much money to lend, interest rates get pushed # up. today, we're an economy where there is an excess of private savings so the answer to the question is who is going to hold the trillion dollars of debt is the same as the answer to the question why is there $2 trillion on corporate balance sheets. the debt is held by the private sector actors who do not spend,
and so deficittings are a risk, but a risk that come home when the economy recovers, and when the current constellation of private sector saving being large relative to private sector spending continues. that's why it's important for confidence. that's why it's important for security. that's why it's important because now we have a moment of urgency to put into place a program that assures that once the economy recovers, this is all going to stay stable, and the recovery's not aborted by a spike in interest rates. for as long as -- what i'm saying now is not precisely what the post editorial page says, but it is not essential that we
act to contract spending by the public sector before the private sector has kicked in and started to spend. indeed, to do so, would be to make the kind of mistakes that have been made in england in to substantial consequence on british economic growth and judgment of the british equivalent of the cbo that radically revised downward assessments of britain's potential output to usher in that process and validate that process of cyclical problems hardening into structural problems. >> [inaudible] >> we need to do the hard work of the long term solution before the economy accelerates into growth. i suspect we will, but we do not
need to do it -- it'd be better to do it. it's my prayer that we do it, but the deadline, in a sense, is before the economy accelerates into substantial growth, and you no longer have the wherewithall of a substantial excess of private savings to hold the -- to hold the government debt. >> we think we have time for just two more questions. dana, right there, and then we'll get over to here. >> dana marshall. good to see you again. thanks for that. i wanted to draw you out on the international component of the five. you mentioned doubling of exports, but there's more to the international dimension. ask to draw you out on two
areas, particular interest to me. one is the effects of the emergence of state capitalism and the various incentives that state governments have that could affect our ability to be able to contribute positively to growth because of that. second is, maybe somewhat related to that, the fact that recently u.s. based multinationals created jobs, all right, but more have been abroad than here. what needs to be done to make -- to try to change that to bring more of those jobs here? >> look, on the second, it's a broad competitive agenda, goes to the quality of the infrastructure, to the quality of the work force that's available, there are -- there are elements in the tax systems
that distort in favor of investments abroad rather than investments in the united states. we have to be very careful. i think there's the risk that in the name of bringing jobs homing, you will hurt the competitiveness of the u.s. multinationals, and ultimately, that will hurt the number of people they employ at home. it's app area that has to be approached with considerable care and isn't always approached with considerable care, but it goes broadly both to strengthening our domestic competitiveness and to incentives in the tax system. look, state capitalism is a complicated phenomena, and one that is of growing importance.
i think we -- i don't think there's really the scope here for me to talk at any length about it, and it's got to be confronted in certain particulars, but frankly, i think it's more of a foreign policy and national security issue than one that's likely to be central -- an and important one, than that's likely to be essential for the rate of economic growth over the next few years. >> i think we have time for just one last question. it has to be brief. we have to end soon. right over there. >> [inaudible] i'm working for a congressman from new jersey. how -- democrats have a problem talking about deficit spending. how can we change the conversation and get the winds to our backs? i mean, in my view of history, deficit spending contributed
significantly to billing this country how it is today. how can we explain to the people we have low interest rates our competitors invest in from the top down. shouldn't with we, before interest rates spike, relative to theirs? thank you. >> here's one way to talk about it. everybody thinks about when they worry about deficits, they worry about protecting the next generation, and they focus on the budget deficits, but just like you can have repressed inflation, you know, there's really inflation, but you put price controls on, and you get shortages, and there's a set of other problems when you repress inflation. if you repress a budget deficit, and you defer maintenance and pass it on to the next generation, collapsing
structures. if you defer funding littles and pass it on to the next generation, pension reliabilities with no sources to meet them. if you pass on to the next generation a federal work force that is not really up to 21st century tax because it's under paid and under invested in for many years, that's compromising our children as well. managing the federal government only to the annual budget deficit is like managing a company only to its annual earnings, and a properly managed company thinks about what it's providing for the future, even as it's attentive to annual earnings, and a wisely managed
federal government will be mineful of the budget deficit, but it also will be mindful of the education deficit, also mindful of the infrastructure deficit and mindful of the competitive deficit, and we have to recognize there's many different kinds of deficits of which the financial deficit is only one. >> i think that's a fantastic ending for your talk today. thank you so much, larry. [applause] >> two presidential debates coming up.
>> defense secretary says the u.s. space has the possibility of a close cyber pearl harbor that could shut down the transportation system, military networks, and military systems. secretary panetta's remarks came yesterday in new york city. >> frank, five words. you deserve to be here. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, it is now and high honor to introduce the most talented, versatile, and experienced leaders in american government, a man who serves our country by meeting the extraordinary challenges of our times. i am sure secretary of defense,
leon panetta thinks on his days in the u.s. army intelligence where he received the army accommodation metal. he chaired the house budget committee before moving on to be the director was office management budget. from there, president clinton tapped him to be white house chief of staff. as directer of central intelligence, leon pa panetta me many critical decisions, but more recently, one particularly outstanding, and a public contribution to the defense of the united states of america, and to our very own new york city. he oversaw the successful and daring mission that ended the life of one osama bin laden. [applause] thank you, mr. secretary. the persistence, courage, and tenacity required to accomplish this reminds me of a quote from
president kennedy. let every nation know whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to sure the survival and the success of our liberties. as secretary panetta would later say, "no one attacks the united states and gets away with it." [applause] so since july 20 # 11, leian panetta served as the nation's secretary of defense. he's dedicated his life to public service. i would be remiss, however, if i did not mention the ten years he has spent co-directing with his wife, sillva, the leon panetta
institute where they instill in young men and women every day the virtues and values of public service. [applause] now, we know in many ways the they never left the shoreline, but one day, and we hope not soon, when he returns to monteray, he can refleblght back op one of the most remarkable public careers of our times. secretary panetta, please join me on the podium. [applause] >> leon panetta could be hop norred for any number of leadership positions he's held
and lifetime of services rendered to our country. in the service of congress, he strengthened america with the focus on federal budget, civil rights, education, and the environment. in the white house, leon panetta was director of the office of management budget and chief of staff, fostering policies that led to a balanced budget in the 1990s making america stronger. at the central intelligence agency, he enabled a spirited response to international terrorism with notable results, disrupting and defeating terror networks. as the nation's 23rd sex tear of defense, leon panetta struck a balance as a force of the advocate for efficiencies also standing resolute in favor of an adequately funded military. bens is pleased to bestow the award recognizing those outstanding americans whose contributions to the country reflect security as the total product of our economic,
intellectual, moral, and military strength. secretary panetta. [applause] >> thank you. [applause] thank you very much. thank you so much for this wonderful evening and the chance to enjoy some terrific company and be able to express my deepest gratitude to this organization for all of the great things that it does on behalf of those that receiver in our military. bruce, my greatest thanks to you for your kind remarks and your leadership here.
i accept this award not so much for myself, but i accept it on behalf of the men and women in uniform who are putting their lives on the line every night, every day in order to protect this country. [applause] i want to congratulate the troops from the 82nd. they're the very best. i also want to congratulate frank for receiving this award, the great service that he does in helping to find jobs for those that are returning so that they can be part of their community after serving this country to protect their community is outstanding, and besides that, and perhaps most importantly, he's italian. it's nice to have on italian hop
norred -- honored this evening. [laughter] [applause] i also want to thank frank townsend, great friend, and obviously, tremendous master of ceremonies this evening, and the reason i asked fran to serve on the board is because she is bright, she is capable, she's dedicated, she's a straight talker, she knows what she's talking about, dedicated to the country, and in a room of a lot of ugly old guys, she's not bad to look at. [laughter] general, thank you for your leadership as well and for your distinguished service to this country. i am truly honored # to be with you this evening. we gather in the midst of a very
important national contest. it's one that will continue to play out over the coming weeks in unpredictable ways before a final decision is reached. in fact, some of the key players are dualing tonight so i want to be very clear about where my loyalties lie in this contest. i have always been and always will be for the new york yankees. [cheers and applause] i think the score is 1-1; right? [laughter] in all seriousness -- [laughter] i really do appreciate the opportunity to come back to this great city. this is -- new york is a special place for me. i'll tell you why. i'm the son of italian immigrants, and both of my
parents came through new york, came through ellis island like so many millions of others. that made this a special place for me. i also had the opportunity to be here and work as an executive assistant to the mayor of new york city, a guy named john lipped see at the time. i also had the opportunity to work very closely with the delegation in congress. as a matter of fact, in washington. i loved with chuck schumer and a group of other members of congress in what was well known as "animal house" in washington, and you can't live with schumer and not develop an appreciation for new york city. i also served on the board of the new york stock exchange for six years, andives on the board when 9/11 took place, and i want you to know how much, at that time, i appreciated the great
cog of the people of new york in the face of that attack, and i remember that courage when i had a chance to lead the operation that went after bin laden. we sent a very clear message to the world. we sent a very clear message to terrorists that, in fact, don't ever attack this country because you will not get away with it. [applause] i've long appreciated if my own experience nogs' -- new york's role as the center of gravity for our nation's economy. this is where it's at, and for that reason, it's an honor to be able to speak before this kind of distinguished audience of
business leaders and innovators because you understand what a strong national defense is all about, and you understand that a strong national defense and strong economy go hand-in-hand. with that in mind, tonight i'd like to discuss with you an issue that i think is at the very next of business and national security. the threats facing the united states in cyberspace and the role that the defense department must play in defending this country from those kinds of threats. we're on an aircraft carrier, the famous and great aircraft carrier, and it's a fitting and appropriate venue to have this
discussion this ship and the technology that's on display at this museum, a test to the central achievement of the united states in the 20th century, our ability to project power across the land, across the high seas, across the skies, and coos outer space. we secured those domains, securing them ensure they were used to advance peace and prosperity, and they were not used to promote war and aggression. it is with that same goal in mind today that we have to address a new domain, that we must secure to have peace and
prosperity in the world of tomorrow. cyberspace has fundamentally transformed the global economy. it's transformed our way of life providing 2 billion people across the world with instant access to information, to communication, to economic opportunities. cyberspace is the new frontier, full of possibilities, to advance security and prosperity in the 21st century. with these responsibilities also comes new perils and new dangers. the interpret is open. it's highly accessible, as it should be, but that also presents a new terrain for
warfare. it is a battlefield of the future where adversaries can seek to do harm to our country, to our economy, and to our citizens. i know that when people think of cyber security today, they worry about hackers and criminals who prowl the internet, steal people's identities, steal sensitive business information, steal even national security secrets. those threats are real, and they exist today. the even greater danger, the greater danger facing us in cyberspace goes beyond crime and harassment. a cyber attack perpetrated by
nation states oar violent extremist groups could be as droughtive -- destructive as the terrorist attack on 9/11. such a destructive cyber terrorist attack could virtually parollize the nation. let me give you some examples of the kinds of attacks that we have already experienced. in recent weeks, as many of you know, some large u.s. financial institutions were hilt by so-called distributed seasonal of service attacks. these attacks or delayed or disruptive services on customer websites while this kind of tactic is not new, the scale and
speed with which it happened was unprecedented. even more alarming is an attack that happened two months ago when a very sophisticated virus called shamoon, infected securities in the saudi saudi arabia company. it included a routine called a wiper. coded to self-execute. this routine replaced crucial systems files with an image of a burning u.s. flag, but it also put additional garbage data that overwrote all the real data on the machine, more than 30,000 computers that it infected were
rendered useless and had to be replaced. it virtually destroyed 30,000 computers. them just days after this incident, there was a similar attack on qatar, a major energy company in the region. all told, the shamoon virus was the most droughtive attack that the -- destructive attack that the private sector has seen to date. imagine the impact an attack like that would have on your company or your business. these attacks mark a significant escalation of the cyber threat, and they have renewed concerns about still more destructive scenarios that could unfold.
for example, we know that foreign cyber actors are probing america's critical infrastructure networks. they are targeting the computer control systems that operate chemical, electricity, and water plants, and those that guide transportation throughout this country. we know of specific instances where intruders have successfully gained access to the control systems. we also know that they are seeking to create advanced tools to attack these systems and cause panic and destruction and even loss of life. let me exmain how this could -- explain how this could unfold.
an aggressor nation or extremist group could use these kinds of cyber tools to gain control of critical switches. they could, for example, derail passenger trains or even more dangerous, derail trains loaded with lethal chemicals. they could contaminate the water supply in major cities or shut down the power grid across large parts of the country. the most droughtive scenarios involve cyber actors launching several attacks on our critical infrastructure at one time. in come combination with a physl attack on the country. they could seek to degrade military systems and community cation networks.
the collective result of these kinds of attacks could be a cyber pearl harbor. an attack that would cause physical destruction and the loss of life. in fact, it would paralyze and shock the nation. as directer of cia and now as secretary of defense, i have understood that cyber attacks are every bit as real as the more well-known threats like terrorism, nuclear weapons proliferation, and the turmoil that we see in the middle east, and the cyber threats facing this country are growing. with dramatic increased
advances -- this is an area of dramatic developments in cyber technology, with that happening, potential aggressors are exploiting vulnerabilities in our security. the good news is this. we are aware of this potential. our eyes are wide open to these kinds of threats, and we are a nation that thank god are on the cutting edge of this new technology. we are the best, and we have to stay there. the department of defense in large part through the capabilities of the national security agency, nsa, has developed the world's most sophisticated system to detect cyber intruders and attackers.
we are acting aggressively to get ahead of this problem, putting in place measures to stop cyber attacks dead in their tracks. we are doing this as part of a broad whole of government effort to confront cyber threats. the department of homeland security has the lead for domestic cyber security. the fbi also has a key part to play in investigating and preventing cyber attacks. our intelligence agencies, of course, are focused on this potential threat as well. the state department is trying to forge international consensus on the roles and responsibilities of nations to help secure cyberspace. the department of defense also has a role. it is a supporting role, but it is an essential role.
tonight, i want to explain what that means. first, let me make clear what it does not mean. it does not mean the department of defense will monitor citizens personal computers. we're not interested in personal communication or in e-mails or in providing the day-to-day security of private and commercial networks. that is not our goal. that is not our job. that is not our mission. our mission is to defend the nation. we defend, we detour, and if called upon, we take decisive action to protect our citizens. in the past, we have done so through operations on land and at sea, in the skies, and in space. in this century, the united
states military must help defend the nation in cyberspace as well. if a foreign adversary attacked u.s. soil, the american people have every right to expect their national defense forces to respond. if a crippling cyber attack were launched against our nation, the american people must be protected. if the commander in chief orders a response, the defense department must be ready to obey that order and to act. to ensure that we fulfill our role to defend the nation in cyberspace, the department is focusing on three main tracks. one, developing new capabilities. two, putting in place the
policies and organizations we need to execute our mission. three, billing much more effective cooperation with industry and with our international partners. let me briefly talk about each of these. first, developing new capabilities. dod is investing more than $3 billion annually in cyber security because we have to retain that cutting edge capability in the feel. following our new defense strategy, the department is continuing to increase key investments in cyber security, even in an era of fiscal restraint. our most important investment is in skilled cyber warriors needed to conduct operations in cyberspace. just as dod qop develop --
developed the world's findest terrorism force over the last decade, we have to build and maintain the finest cyber force and operations. we're recruiting. we're training. we're retaining the best and brightest in order to stay ahead of other nations. it's no secret that russia and china have advanced cyber capabilities. iran also has undertaken a concerted effort to use cyberspace to its advantage. moreover, dod is already in an intense daily struggle against thousands of cyber actors who probe the defense department's networks, millions of times a day. throughout the innovative efforts of our cyberoperaters, we've been trying to enhance the
department's cyber defense program. these systems rely on sensors, software, to hunt down a malicious code before it harms our systems. we actively share our own experience defending our systems with those running the nation's critical networks. in addition to defending the department's networks, we also help detour attacks. our cyber adversaries will be far less likely to hit us if they know that we will be able to link them to the attack or that their effort will fail against our strong defenses. the department has made significant advances in solving a problem that makes detouring cyber adversaries more complex. the difficulty of identifying the origins of that attack. over the last two years, dod has
made significant investments in forensics to address this problem of attribution, and we're seeing the returns on that investment. potential aggressors should be aware that the united states has the capacity to locate them and to hold them accountable for their actions that may try to harm america. we won't succeed in preventing a cyber attack through improved defenses alone. if we detect an imminent threat of attack that will cause significant physical destruction in the united states or kill american citizens, we need to have the option to take action against those who would attack us, to defend this nation when directed by the president.
for these kinds of scenarios, the department has developed the capability to conduct effective operations to counter threats to our national interest in cyberspace. let me be clear that we will only do so to defend our nation, to defend our interests, our nation, and our allies, and we will only do so in a manner that's consistent with the policy and department frameworks that the department follows for other domains including the law of armed conflict which brings me to the second area of focus. policies and organization. responding to the cyber threat requires the right policies and organizations across the federal government. for the past year, the department of defense has been working very closely with other
agencies to understand where the lines of responsibility are when it comes to cyber defense. where do we draw those lines? how do those responsibilities get executed? as part of that effort, the department is now finalizing the most comprehensive change to our rules of end gaugement in -- engagement in cyberspace in seven years. the new rules will make clear that the department has a responsibility not only to defend dod's networks, but also to be prepared to defend the nation in our national interest against app attack in or through cyberspace. these new rules make the department more al-- agile and provide us with the capability to respond to threats quickly. to execute these
responsibilities, we must have strong organizational structures in place. three years ago, the department took a major step forward by establishing the united states cyber command. under the leadership of general chief alexander, a four star officer who also receivers as the -- serves as the directer of the national security agency, cyber command matured into what i believe is the world class organization. it has the capacity to conduct a full range of missions in cyberspace. it's also working to develop a common realtime understanding of the threats in cyberspace. the threat picture could be quickly shared with dod's geographic and functional combat and commanders with dhs, with fbi, and with other agencies in government.
after all, we need to see an attack coming in order to defend against that attack. we're looking at ways to strengthen cybercommand as well. we must ensure that it has the resources, that it has the authorities, that it has the capabilities required to perform this growing mission, and it must also be able to react quickly to events unfollowing in cyberspace and help fully integrate cyber into all of the department's plans and activities. finally, the third area is to build stronger partnerships. as i made clear, securing cyberspace is not the sole responsibility of the united states military or even the stole responsibility of the united states government. the private sector, government,
military, our allies, all share the same global infrastructure, and we all share the responsibility to protect it. therefore, we are deep and equal in operation with our closest allies with the goal of shares threat information, maximizing shared capabilities, and determines malicious activities. the president, the vice president, secretary of state, and i have made cyber a major topic of discussion in nearly all of our bilateral meetings with foreign counterparts. i recently met with our chinese military counterparts just a few weeks ago. as i mentioned earlier, china is rapidly growing its cyber capabilities. in my visit to beijing, i underscored the need to increase
communication and transparency with each other so that we could avoid a misunderstanding or a miscalculation in cyberspace. this is in the interest of the united states, but it's also in the interest of china. ultimately, no one has a greater interest in cyber security than the businesses that depend on a safe, secure, and resilient global, digital infrastructure. particularly those who operate the critical networks that we must help defend. to defend those networks more effectively, we must share information between the government and the private sector about threats in cyberspace. we've made real progress in sharing information with the private sector, but very frankly, we need congress to act to ensure that this sharing is
timely and comprehensive. companies should be able to share specific threat information with the government. without the prospect of lawsuits hanging over their heads, and a key principle must be to protect the fundmental liberties and privacy in cyberspace that we're all duty-bound to uphold. information sharing, alone, is not sufficient. we've got to work with the business community to develop baseline standards for our most critical private sector infrastructure, our power plants, our water treatment facilities, our gas pipelines. this would help ensure that companies take proactive measures to secure themselves against the sophisticated threats, but also take common sense steps against basic
threats. although awareness is growing, the reality is that too few companies have invested in even basic cyber security. the fact is that to fully provide the necessary protection in our democracy, cybersecurity legislation must be passed by the congress. without it, we are, and we will be vulnerable. congress must act, and it must agent -- act now on a comprehensive bill like the bipartisan cyber security act of 2012 cosponsored by senators lieberman, collins, rockefeller, and fine stein. -- feinstein. [applause] this legislation has bipartisan support, but it has fallen victim to legislative and
political gridlock like so much else in washington. that, frankly, is unacceptable, and it should be unacceptable not just to me, but to you and anyone concern the with safeguarding our national security. while we wait for congress to agent, the administration is looking to enhance cyber security measures under existing authorities by working with the private sector to promote best practices, increase information sharing. they are considering issues an executive order as one option to try to deal with the situation, but very frankly, there is no substitute for comprehensive legislation. we need to move as far as we can in the meantime. we have no choice because this -- the threat that we face as i've said is already here.
congress has a responsibility to agent, and the president of the united states has a constitutional responsibility to defend our country. i want to urge each of you to add your voice to those who support stronger cyber defenses for our country. .. this is pre-9/11 moment.
[applause] the attackers are plotting. our system will never be impenetrable, just like physical defenses are not perfect. but more can be done to improve them. we need congress and we need all of you to help not at her. i want you to know the department of defense is doing our part. and tonight, i have asked you to do yours. as citizens and as business leaders, help us innovate, help us increase the nation's cybersecurity by securing your own networks. help us remain ahead of the threats that we confront. by doing so, you will help ensure that cyberspace continues
to bring prosperity to your companies into people across the world. ben has played an important part in this debate by identifying cybersecurity is a key national security challenge, or business and government must partner together. and so are the two thanks for your leadership in this area in thank you again for your recognition of the efforts we have made. but more broadly, but the thank you for your commitment to the jury that guides all of us in this nation. i talked about my parents as immigrants. i used to ask my father, why did he travel all that distance to come to a strange land, leaving the comfort of family. it was a poor area in italy, but why would she leave your comfort of family and travel of the
distance to strange land. my father said the reason he did it is because he and my mother believed that they could give their children a better life. that is the american dream. that is what we want for our children. we have achieved factory because we always have been able to defend our interests and our values. that must remain our most important mission on land, at sea, in the air, and space and yes, in cyberspace. this is not just a responsibility. it is a duty that we owe to our children and their children in the future. thank you very much.
[applause] >> c-span brings a special perspective. it's what's happening in washington are particularly your coverage of the house and senate. so something is going on in the house and senate, something will go on in the next five years.7 maybe not this year. c-span covers this authoritatively very, very well and is one of the major news sources or news happenings in washington. we're all struggling with this is happening in health care. c-span was the authoritative for. or read about the system. c-span again has the authority to do voice in what the congress is doing in terms of the financial system.
>> i thought that vice president biden was very rude. he cut ryan off all the time, like he didn't want to hear what brian said. i really went on vice president titan. i just see the experience, the sincerity and his response. i could feel his love for the people. and the other half of brian, first of all, he needs to go to the doctor because he drinks a lot of water. maybe that's why joe biden had
to keep iraq team. i didn't care for his smiles and actuaries. i feel like paul ryan was very script. this is the way they've been training him for the last two weeks or however long it i felt like he knew what he was talking about. >> joe biden came across a cranky old man, unlikable, unpresidential. he was nearing, he was rude, taking over and out of turn. very disruptive, laughing, grimacing, smirking, shaking his head, pointing the finger, you seem a tone of voice. he spoke more than ryan did by over a minute, almost two minutes more. >> i really enjoyed this debate. it was so much more substantial in the way it was handled by the
moderator. i.e. i'm an independent, but i'm probably going to vote for the president again and i just don't really like the way that romney and ryan are so conservative. >> i think brian's closing statement was far superior to biden. >> biden was able to speak out more. biden was sent out loud as long of a period of time as paul ryan weiss. and i suggest that when obama comes back again, he takes is some alarm clock so we can see who is talking more. >> i think it was nauseating the way that mr. biden laughed all the way through. disney take anything serious?
he has been a and as incompetent as obama. >> ryan held his own. he was very strong in his answers. he was very calm, very respectful. and by the way, who put a burr in joe biden snickers? he was very sarcastic, very angry and frustrated. >> i think that there could have been more clarity on ryan's part as far as turning to deliver -- taking a little more charge and what he was trying to implement. you know, i mentioned before that the biden side was little more used car salesman. he spat out exactly how he felt about it and i think ryan could've done a lot better. >> i'm kind of frustrated that they didn't like gary johnson to
be. >> i found that vice president biden is very clear, concise, very factual. and i just didn't feel that credibility with ryan. he seems like he piggybacked him everything that vice president biden said. >> i just made up my decision and going democrat. i kept wanting the other side to give it to me and they just didn't show it. i agree his little too pushy, but that happened in the last debate. >> ryan. he got caught trying to do decorah and he can't do that because the moderator allowed a more freestyle answer session. so biden did his job. what he said was factual or not, whether was rude or not, biden
pushed a lot. ryan needed to come back and not be rude, but he could have said i'm sorry mr. vice president, you're not correct. excuse me can hear interesting@. he tried to just be polite. >> did a report from the group, save the children, found one in four children live in poverty. that is the highest level in two decades. former senator chris dodd, bob
casey and others this week discussed ways to combat child poverty. this is an hour 20 minutes. >> is add-on? now is add-on? nope. thank you all for coming today and joining first focus and save the children to discuss america's report card 2012. we are national bipartisan advocacy group dedicated to making them children and families in budget decisions. first and foremost i want to thank senator chris dodd and senator bob casey for joining us today. they were the inspiration for this effort.
they also on behalf of our nation's children for years and years. senator dodd and his 36 years, more about him in a minute. the both of them have been great champions for children over the years. i also want to thank our key partner on this, save the children and mark shriver for being strong partners in the creation of this whole effort and everything related to the report. and also jennifer garner who is here with us, so we appreciate that. her fantastic work for save the children had been such a strong advocate for children, call our nations children across the country. the first focus and save the children could not attend this report without the help of the america's report card advisory board, a panel experts who were instrumental in helping to highlight aspects of an american
child slave on the well-being and transfer great future. some of them are here today. america's report card stems from a series of hearings on the fate of america's child from june to november 2010, led by senator dodd, then chairman of the subcommittee and family. his searing lead to subcommittee report that provided the snapshot of the well-being of american children based on family economic security, education and child health and provided policy recommendations to improve outcomes in these areas. release of the state of american child report, senator dodd and senator bob casey focused on save the children to create a periodic report card to provide and holistic picture of children's unmet needs in america and policy suggestions on how to meet those needs. so one of the things we think about this report is i have four
kids and i went back in the past few weeks and i figured out that my kids decorated about 300 times a year, whether it's tests, quizzes, homework assignments, plus all the testing required by national policy. so no child left behind, et cetera. so 300 times a year. what we thought about here was about how real is the nation are doing, so what is a report on how we are faring for kids? so this is a chance to turn this around and grade ourselves or copies of the report are available as you all know on her website. our grades are not accessing a institution. we're migrating governors are state legislators. instead, we are grading the nation as a whole, so society,
business, family, communities and how we measure up compared with other nations on the expectations we should have for ourselves. this is a call to action that we all must be child advocates in the can and must do better by our children. i would like to first introduce senator chris dodd, the inspiration behind the report. just a few words about him. senator dodd has an amazing 60 year career, working, and i think you'll agree, working tirelessly to protect the rights, well-being and health of our nations children in the child advocacy role. when i started, he was to go to guy on any issue in any community. so whether it's child care, child health, child abuse and neglect, education, whatever the issue is, people always said you should talk to senator dodd's
staffers inform the spinach navy three he cofounded the first children's caucus and also from his position, he passed laws relating to all the issues i mentioned. childcare, family medical leave, education, child health and child abuse prevention. so i want to thank senator dodd for all that, but also inspiring this report an alternate over to you. [applause] >> well, good morning. it's wonderful to see such a great turnout, to be part of this news and report card. i'm delighted to be with you and i think very much first focus for their work as elicited the children and i please to be associated with for many, many years am proud of the fact they are located in connecticut as well. they are in state. and to bob casey, my former
colleagues and dear friend from pennsylvania has done a tremendous job and is a wonderful commitment in history, deeply committed to the issue of children and families to the united states congress. it's not to be with them. and jennifer, we thank you immensely. you're a celebrity, but also your mind and commitment to these issues and we thank you immensely for the work you do. he and a mother herself with young children, i am a father of very young children. i dropped my 11-year-old and seven old as the public school in the district of columbia this morning. i was the only person that god mail from aarp today per services. survey broad reach when it comes to these issues. i'm honored to be in the presence of mark and bob and bruce and tandem all for the work they do and the effort onto giving us as a nation the ability to make judgments.
as we do it in so many areas, we keep records of how people have batting averages, celebrating in a sense his first return to major league baseball finals in washington. and yet every morning, you can read how players are doing. this morning at 30 telling us how the stock market is doing. we have the ability to judge those numbers compare to yesterday in a week ago, a month ago. any number of examples of how we keep records of how we doing. everything better robbery doing worse. we fail to keep the same kind of calibration on how we're doing on the most important constituency and that is our children. how are they doing in our country and how they doing compared to others known the world and are we doing a better job. are we celebrating the victories that have been made over the years and improving quantity of life. and if not, why are we doing
better in certain areas. so this is an idea that's been a long time coming, to have that once a year, gather together and say how we doing as a country. i've never met anybody in public or private life they didn't believe the most important issues we face as a country was to see too clearly the nation better shape than we inherited and that will depend on what happens to young people coming along who will be part of this audience one day, standing at podiums can engage them in meaningful debate and life of our nation. as i begin by thanking all of you from a former colleagues and others who have been involved to care deeply about this issue. of all the issues that have worked on in my 30 years as a member of the united states senate, 36 and the congress, nothing that more to me as a public official, as a public servant than trying to help children and families across this country. almost the very first day arrived in united states senate for the 30 years ago i began working on these issues and i appreciate her as they can
reference this mind to the fact that in 1983, 30 years ago this year, another freshman senator from pennsylvania by the name of arlen specter and i formed together the first children's caucus in the united states senate. it began holding rump hearings all over the country and children's health, child abuse, afterschool programs, a number of issues that affect children every single day. we didn't have a formal status. we want a legitimate committee of the congress, but we decided to use their offices to come together to bring some attention to these issues. orrin hatch and i wrote the first childcare legislation since world war ii, putting resources of the public government to make it available for working families have a safe and secure place their children can be if they went off to work and try to provide for family needs. after seven years, my colleague, dan coats, ted kennedy and others were finally able to pass a medical family that in
february 1993, the first i.t. to as president of the united states, bill clinton signed into law the medical leave act. rick santorum and i from pennsylvania wrote the legislation with autism. lamar alexander and i worked on our legislation together. premature birth, and for screening, afterschool programs. what i mention these things to? is because it wasn't that long ago the republicans and democrats worked together on these issues and it ought to be that way again. who cares about children whose light to stand up and come together. and not used to be between blacks, blue states, red states, the people want to make a difference in a lesser children. children and families during those years as a surge in the united states congress. as i prepare to leave, after announcing my retirement in
2010, i decided to take a look back at the work that had been done and to determine what would still be needed for children and families to do better. so we held a number of hearings in which bob casey that integral part during 2010, during my last in the congress going back and reviewing what had occurred to children over the years. we found is that the programs that give millions of americans that chance to become part of a middle class, out of every four children in the united states is living in poverty and even those test scores and school standards have been improving, only half of eighth and 12th graders were able to read and do not at the appropriate level. go show that despite the good progress we've made them a more and more, much more needed to be got for our nations children. seven december 2010, a month before he left office, i stood behind a podium not unlike this
one with mark, bob and bruce to announce the establishment of an annual report card on the state of america's children. that report to examine the lives of children as bruce's pointed out, in an holistic and determine what areas we needed to do a better job. a little less than two years later, it's a pleasure for me to the fact that these dedicated people to save the children, first focused with jennifer garner and others to give america's report card for 2012 to all of you gathered here today. i believe it to mark and douglas is wanting to go into the details of their reports and findings. i want to take a moment to talk about my own personal views on this and what i think we need to go. over the last two decades, strong progress has been made in a number of areas related to children's well-being and we need to celebrate those victories and improvements. too often moments like this we
recite a litany of things wrong. things have gotten better and we need to talk about that as well. today, thanks to programs like children health insurance program, medicaid, the affordable care act governing the present of children are covered by some form of health insurance. that is great news. that's a vast improvement. education initiatives like the rest of the top, early education challenge and progress that's for low-income children in our country. a total of $500 million was awarded to schools in the last few months to this competitive grant program. that is good news that is to be celebrated in the overall dropout rates among the nation's students have declined slightly while test scores have risen as well, showing improvements at all levels of education. but even with these positive trends, the report showed us a nation we need to do more, much more for going to have a country that strong and children leading
better lives. despite continued economic recovery, families are still feeling the effects of the 2008 financial crisis, stating the obvious. one in five children live below the poverty line. the child poverty rate is at the highest level in two decades. states are feeling ever-growing constraints on budgets as many of you are aware and despite the general belief would need to provide for the needs of the children come in many of these states have targeted programs for funding cuts that are so vital for the well-being of our children. consider this, for the second school year in a row, state funding for preschool programs have been cut by nearly $60 million in order to make a budget shortfalls come in many states are scaling back funding for child care assistance programs despite the benefits these programs provide for millions of america's children. ottawa made progress in reducing the rate of mortality, consider
this morning the united states ranks 29th in the world in infant deaths among industrialized nations. twenty-ninth in terms of infant mortality regardless of your political persuasion, ideological beliefs. that is a statistic alone ought to be a rallying cry for all americans to do a better job in seeing that our nations children have a better life. it is said to us to ensure the challenge facing america's children are dressed. children can't appear on cable talk shows. they can contribute to political campaigns. they can't vote, obviously. they can only count on us and it is a political discussion occurring with the loudest voices as all of us know or heard in these debates. this november, i'd ask everyone to be casting about for candidates and for children who will be first in their minds and after the election, no matter who wins the kennedy prevails
her party dress, i'll see to it these elected to the activists remain accountable during the season. these are issues that are solvable in our nation and if we choose to put america's children at the forefront of our national agenda can we choose to tackle these issues head-on by investing in our nations youth, we can overcome these challenges. we give not only our children to private future they deserve, bullock of our country to a brighter future deserves as well. i want to thank all of you again for being a part of the spirit was to put the report together, organizations that come together as a lookout in the audience as the number of people who served on rice and a children's committee staff and i'd be remiss if i didn't thank them for the tremendous job they did on behalf of america's children and families. into you bought from itunes recommends that for the job you do on these issues. in becoming a great, great champion for children. jennifer kawai thank you for your wonderful offers in being a
part of this embraces her spokes is important. and lasting mark, my dear friend would've known all his life in a so proud of the work he does in the work save the children dosed with internationally and at home is a great, great organization and deeply proud to be associated with it. with that other 2% mark shirer. [applause] >> good morning. good morning. thank you, senator dodd for that kind introduction and for your fantastic words as usual. i think bruce of a restroom on capitol hill over the last 30 years as the go to guy. save the children how to in connecticut, so proud you represented us for so many years washington d.c., but more importantly all kids across this country and across the world. so thank you very much for coming.